Global Bridge: Serbian Social Entrepreneurs Visit U.S.
As one component of Larta’s Global Bridge™ program with the Serbian Innovation Fund, two young entrepreneurs from Strawberry Energy joined Larta for three days in June during the company’s “US Soft Landing Visit”. The company, who created the world’s first off-grid public solar charger and Wi-Fi station, aimed to gain valuable insights into the US market and adaptability of their product, receive real-time market based feedback on their business model, surface issues concerning IP, and discuss partnering opportunities in the US.
Strawberry Energy’s visit was kicked off with a Larta hosted round-table feedback session, where the company was joined by Larta staff, representatives from Southern California Edison, Sempra Energy Utilities, and Buchalter Nemer. Over the next two days, the entrepreneurs participated in Larta-organized high value on-site meetings, including those at Los Angele Department of Water and Power, LA Cleantech Incubator, and at one of the premier outdoor shopping malls in the immediate Los Angeles area.
Much emphasis during the meetings was spent discussing which kind of customers are most likely interested in using Strawberry Energy’s products and why, through what channels they can be reached and the strategy the company can take to best position itself to those customers. Also discussed were Strawberry Energy’s fastest and most effective ways to be profitable in the US market and how to gain partnerships and licensing agreements with potentially interested entities. They also explored different ways of leveraging local Universities to gain market knowledge.
The entrepreneurs also participated in a marketing and brainstorming session with Reality2 CEO Farida Fotouhi and ended their trip with a final meeting with Larta’s CEO Rohit Shukla and Larta’s CSO Carlos Gutierrez to discuss Strawberry Energy’s next steps and commercialization strategy moving forward. They left LA with a better idea of their potential US market, why they might consider partnering over VC engagements, and which partners may or may not be interested in collaborating.